Grey Zones

I am not more than ever convinced that a lot of people do not get the help they need because they fall into gray zones.  There are undoubtedly a lot of programs out there to help people but each program has restrictions in the demographic they can help.  I first heard about this when I was doing a sociology project on homelessness.  When I asked the local homeless liaison officer at the police station what his greatest frustration with the system was he brought up gray zones (though not in that phrase).  For an example, he said that if I came up to him saying I might end up homeless as a single young female without children that he would not be able to help me.  He said if I had kids, was a battered woman, a veteran, or any other list of things he might be able to help me but as I was presented I wasn’t “bad off enough.”

As I stated in yesterday’s post I recently experienced this with my own son.  We have hit a rough spot with him and as a consequence financially.  When we reached out for help we bounced around from one program to the next and even those programs designed to help autistic children said he was “too high functioning” or had a waiting list over a year long.

Today after speaking with a friend and though I will not share her experiences her she is having a similar issue with her own child.  I can say that the issues are severe enough to warrant intervention and help but all the programs out there they do not qualify for based on restrictions (including some they would qualify for if her child were a year older.)  Now I am pulling out my bag of resources to see if I can help them when I failed to be able to help myself.  That is usually the way though, you can help others a lot better than you can help yourself.


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